Bob Dylan has the won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
That’s right. The guy who once balked at the idea of “Like a Rolling Stone” being declared the greatest song of all-time by Rolling Stone. Who once referred to that song as “a long piece of vomit.” The man who would chafe at every critical dissection of his work and insist he was “a song dance man” now has a Nobel Prize. Throughout all of the changes in the skipping reels of his career, there’s at least been the consistency of his refusal to be taken seriously. On his second album, the one with “Blowin in the Wind” (as poetic a tune as has ever been penned), he was making dick jokes in closer “I Shall Be Free.” In the heyday of the 60s he refused to be pinned down as “the voice of a generation.” He didn’t want to be the spokesman of our nation, or any nation. Now that is absolutely inarguable. With today’s news, Bob Dylan is cemented as our poet laureate. He’s won something that literary heroes of his, such as Dylan Thomas, James Joyce, Allen Ginsberg and Ezra Pound never did. For having created “new poetic expressions within the American song tradition” he’s the first musician to claim a Nobel, and the first American to win the literary award since Toni Morrison in 1993. He may well still be the court jester we’ve all romanticized him as, but he’s now finally stolen the crown.